Writing the Strip Can Be Hazardous to Your Social Life

Sometimes when I write the strip, I unconsciously mouth the words the characters are saying and make some of their facial expressions.

Yesterday, I wrote the strip in a coffee shop I had never been to before in St. Helena, California, which is in Napa Valley.

In one of the strips I wrote, Goat grimaces at Rat, showing all of his clenched teeth.

As I was writing it, I lifted my head from the page and just happened to catch the eye of the woman at the table directly in front of me, who smiled and started to say, “Hi, how are you?”

But at the moment she spoke, I was grimacing so hard I flashed her every single one of my teeth.Β  Like an insane man-dog ready to bound over the table.

She moved tables.

31 thoughts on “Writing the Strip Can Be Hazardous to Your Social Life

  1. I’m sure the grimace was a bad thing, but I’ll bet it was the horns you had strapped to your head that really freaked her out.

  2. HOLY COW!! I thought I was the only one who did this!!

    I’m pretty sure it’s a necessary part of the creative process. The lady was most definitely not an artist.

  3. I’m sure Staci is mourning your missed “social life.”

    Perhaps Staci needs some “social life.” Maybe with Tom Wilson Jr. Wouldn’t that steam rat?! (But he can console himself with dreams of the TP goddess.)

  4. “…and that’s how I first met my wife.”

    I’ve always wondered how the two of you originally met.

  5. You know, maybe there’s a reason “method acting” is a phrase, but “method cartooning” isn’t.

  6. I make faces at people to make them go away. It never works. They just stare at me. But now I can just imitate Goat; it looks like the right face. Maybe it’ll work this time.

  7. its a wonder how your life is so eventful that you have something funny or the other to write almost everyday on your blog.

  8. I like the ongoing “Drama Cow”series and the “Bird on Larry’s Head” series. Can you please do another storyline like the one where Rat accidentally gets stranded at a “Family Circus” convention? I liked it. Bye for now. Read my blog, please.


  9. I like the Guard Duck’s line in the “Drama Cow”series. “‘Where is a flame thrower when you need one?!”‘
    Zarion Kreena,from miscellaneoussoup,wordpress.com
    P.S. I love the way that Rat changes his mind,when Guard Duck blows up the neighbors’ houses. Have more characters from other cartoons! Garfield,for example. Also, today’s Danny Donkey strip is weird, but I like it. Go on my blog!!!

  10. I was reading one of the earlier strips and listening to music on headphones so I didn’t hear this female soldier walk in to the office. She must have asked me something serious because when I looked up, she had a horrified look on her face and she turned abruptly and left. I later found out that she had asked if I was the EO (Equal Opportunity) guy and that she wanted to file a complaint. I bet she thinks that I’m an ass***e and that, yes, men are all pigs. *I did feel bad, but, c’mon, I had big headphones on my noggin! Perhaps it would be too much to ask to make sure I COULD HEAR HER before asking me a question or telling me something so important. But that’s just common sense, which seems to be uncommon in the army.

  11. Well, it wasn’t the grimace that made her leave. Gotta admit without Rat there to have a reason for the grimace, it looks like Goat is grimacing for a different reason. One that involves a toilet and being seated on it. Bet she thought that’s what was happening with you and wanted to get far away from what she expected to smell.

    On a different note, I absolutely loved the recent Drama Cow – Guard Duck series. Especially the last three days when Gaurd Duck found out about the cow being in the house and ended up calling in the worse air strike in history. I was laughing so hard I nearly crack a rib.

  12. I keep looking at his expreseeion and I can almost smell the rotten eggs and hear the thunder!!!!!

  13. Gee, thanks, Pastis. That lady was Nancy Pelosi and that “look” made her leave California and now we’re stuck with her in Congress.

  14. Like a couple of others up there, I was also thinking Goat’s grimace was due to something other than frustration.

    I forgot to mention in my other comment that I luv Drama Cow! When I first saw her and her complaints, it was one of the funniest things I’ve seen recently. How long does it take for you to write her blatherings in a vortex-shape like that? Hope to see her again soon, that is, if Helikitty (too cute!!) and Guard Duck don’t succeed in their mission.

  15. I really identified with this particular post; I listen to audio books on my MP3 player, but have had to stop listening in public, because I’ve developed the nasty habit of acting out the things that are going on in the book.

    A few months ago, I was standing in a gas station lineup waiting to pay, when one of the characters flipped her braid over her shoulder and tugged on it, and another of the characters emitted an evil, maniacal laugh.

    Me flipping my own braid over my shoulder didn’t seem to phase the other people in the line-up, but my personal take on the maniacal laugh didn’t go over well.

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